It’s disturbing to think of the federal government’s pressuring and jawboning a private business to reformulate perfectly lawful products, cut prices on some lines of goods, and so forth. In this case, however, as I told the Washington Times, there’s reason to think the nation’s largest retailer might have wanted to proceed with a “healthy-eating” remake anyway, and this way it can get Michelle Obama’s valuable endorsement with all the attendant publicity. Bonus: Ms. Obama has now vocally backed the idea of opening Wal-Marts in more “underserved areas” such as urban neighborhoods without full-line supermarkets; in the past union and local-merchant opposition has often stymied Wal-Mart’s wish to enter such neighborhoods.
P.S. Coincident news story: creepy pro-union group pickets home of developer who hopes to bring Wal-Mart to the District of Columbia. And Ira Stoll has covered the sometimes-exaggerated extent of “food deserts”.